Guest Columnist

Meditating on the purpose of life

Learning the purpose of life through prayer and meditation.
Learning the purpose of life through prayer and meditation.

“The spiritual and moral will eventually overcome the material and unmoral. That is the purpose and destiny of the human race.”

Most people, myself included, have struggled with the Big Question of, “What is the purpose of life?” For a long time, I thought man’s purpose on this planet was to procreate. Then I began to believe, through organized religion, that our purpose was to worship God, that God “enjoyed” being worshiped. Then my belief became one of service to God through service to man.

I have a book of daily meditation that I have read faithfully, every morning, for 30 years. It is “Twenty-Four Hours a Day” by Hazelden. Each day is divided into three sections: “Thought for the Day,” “Meditation for the Day,” and “Prayer for the Day.” In the “Meditation for the Day,” I kept noticing throughout the year, a discussion of “The Purpose of Life.” I decided to go through the book and document these “Purposes.” Here are a few of the “Purposes of Life”:

“A life of service is the finest life we can live. We are here on earth to serve others.” “It is the work of a lifetime to develop to full stature spiritually. This is what I am on earth for.”

Hmm. Well, now that I have an understanding of what my, or man’s, “Purpose of Life” is, I am now ready for more information.

“God sees, as no one can see, what is within you. He sees you growing more and more like Himself. That is your reason for existence, to grow more and more like God, to develop more and more the spirit of God within you.”

Heavy stuff. As I was undertaking this project of documenting “The Purposes of Life” in the pre-dawn hours, (my usual time for reading, writing and meditation), I became spiritually high. Putting all these thoughts together at one time was a transformational process. Or was it the coffee?

“All your existence in this world is a training for a better life to come.” “The gradual elimination of selfishness in the growth of love for God and your fellow human beings is the goal of life.” “Your real work in life is to grow spiritually.”

Okay, now that we have all that settled, I was ready for even more. “This life on earth should be largely a preparation for the eternal life to come.” I can dig it.

“Faith in God can give an objective and purpose to life. Many of us are at least subconsciously seeking for a power greater than ourselves because that would give a meaning to our existence.”

In addition to “The Purpose of Life,” here are a couple of other tidbits I gleaned from the “Meditation for the Day” section of “Twenty-Four Hours a Day” that I think worthy of passing along: “God can use you as a tool to accomplish miracles in people’s lives” and “Claim the power to work miracles in human lives!”

Far out, man! Call me a Jesus Freak if you like. I consider it a compliment. There is more to life than just living and dying. The soul is immortal, I believe. (“Your life has been given to you mainly for the purpose of training your soul.”) We are here for a reason. “I will try to be at one with God. No human aspiration can reach higher than this.” “Our chief ambition should be to be used by God.”

“Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art.” It wasn’t the coffee, man.

Next week: Happiness.

Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, or email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com.